Come on. The Sharks handed a golden opportunity and get it done? Let’s go back to Tuesday night for a moment. Los Angeles lost to Minnesota. The Ducks lost to Montreal thanks to goals by former Sharks Torrey Mitchell and Mike Brown? Plus one win gets them in?! I mean it’s simple, right? Well, a hot goalie standing on it’s head along with a goalie who let in a goal against, was the difference. That 6-on-3 passing power play was horrific. Ok, let’s move on.
Once again, the San Jose Sharks will try to clinch their 18th playoff berth in franchise history against former coach Todd McLellan and the Edmonton Oilers. Team Teal has played well against Northern Alberta’s team, going 2-0-1. It should be said that San Jose has lost in overtime to Edmonton, and won in a shootout and most recently, did not allow a goal to their division rival in their last game on March 8th. Speaking of that last game…
A little incident occurred at the end of that 3-0 win. Sharks defenseman Roman Polak was called for a penalty when Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks lost an edge, Polak’s skate tripped him up further causing Hendricks to fall heavily into the boards. The Oilers obviously didn’t like that, and sent tough guy Darnell Nurse to do something about that. He fought an unsuspecting Polak to a bloody pulp and only received five for fighting. The league later added a three game suspension.
While the playoff spot is paramount on the importance meter for Team Teal tonight, it should come as no surprise that tough guy Micheal Haley has been recalled by the Barracuda to likely play tonight. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer has in the past, started a tough guy lineup to settle the score from past matchups right at the start of the game. So watch out.
Joel Ward is reportedly had a “maintenance day” yesterday and wasn’t skating with the team at the morning skate. It might be a night off for the Sharks vertan winger. James Reimer is expected to start for San Jose. Optimus Reim is 3-1 for the Sharks including two games where he didn’t allow a goal. He should have this lineup in front of him tonight:
Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Karlsson – Couture – Donskoi
Marleau – Tierney – Ward / Wingels
Zubrus – Spaling – Wingels / Haley
Martin – Burns
DeMelo – Braun
Dillon – Polak
For the Oilers… they are the Oilers. Along with the other six teams based in Canada, they are playing out the string and perhaps tanking once again to for the chance at winning the Draft Lottery for another year. Edmonton has played more competitive this season as opposed to years passed. Look for them to be riled up, especially if the team has a rumble at the get go. In other words, don’t play down to their level, get it done and dominate.
After the Sharks game, join us for Pucknology After Dark. The Sharks postgame show with your tweets, questions, and always interactive! Subscribe to the YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/PucknologyAfterDark1 and Follow @Pucknology and @Puckguy14 on Twitter for the link to the show!
Let’s clinch tonight!